MASANIELLO, an abbreviation of TOMMASO ANIELLO an Amalfi fisherman, who became leader of the re volt against Spanish rule in Naples in 1647. A revolt broke out at Palermo in May 1647, and the people of Naples followed the example of the Sicilians. The immediate occasion of the latter rising was a new tax on fruit, the ordinary food of the poor, and the chief instigator of the movement was Masaniello, who led the malcontents. On July 7, 1647 there was a riot at the city gates between the fruit-vendors of the environs and the customs officers, and the customs office was burnt. The rioters then poured into Naples and forced their way into the palace of the viceroy, the hated Count d'Arcos, who fled.
Masaniello was elected "captain-general"; and the revolt was even spreading to the provinces. On July 13, through the media tion of Cardinal Filomarino, archbishop of Naples, a convention was signed between D'Arcos and Masaniello as "leader of the most faithful people of Naples," by which the rebels were par doned, the more oppressive taxes removed, and the citizens granted certain rights, including that of remaining in arms until the treaty should have been ratified by the king of Spain. Mas
aniello was murdered while haranguing a mob in the market-place on July 16, Masaniello's insurrection formed the subject of several operas, of which the most famous is Auber's La Muette de Portici (1828).
See Saavedra, Insurreccion de Napoli en 1647 (2 vols., Madrid, 1849) ; A. von Reumont, Die Caraffa von Maddaloni (2 vols., Berlin, 1849) ; Capasso, La Casa e famiglia di Masaniello (Naples, 1893) ; V. Spinazzola, Masaniello e la sua famiglia, secondo un codice bolognese del sec. xvi. (in the review Flegrea, 1900) ; A. G. Meissner Masaniello (in German) ; E. Bourg, Masaniello (in French) ; F. Palermo, Docu menti diversi sulle novita accadute in Napoli l'anno 1647 (in the Archivio starico italiano, ist series, vol. ix.).